April 20, 2016 | Miquel Sureda

I don't know about you, but I'm horrified by snakes. They're winding, silent and even venomous. Worse, there's a shortage of antivenom because it can only be made from real snake venom and is difficult to store.

Scientists are turning to synthetic biology to improve the quality and availability of snakebite treatments. By injecting small pieces of snake DNA into mice they can prompt the rodents' immune system to produce anitvenom that's much easier to collect.

I hope this will work, but I'm still going to keep my distance from snakes!


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Antivenom is currently made by 'milking' snakes and injecting their venom into horses.


Image: Flickr/Tontan Travel

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